More news of brain disease in dead NFL players

This news come from the PBS Frontline series and shows the prevalence of brain disease in former NFL players like the one I mentioned had killed his girl friend and himself.


An old brain in a young body

I was horrified last year when I heard the story of Jovan Belcher, a young man who had played football.

Jovan played pro football 4 years before killing his girl friend and then himself in December 2012. He killed himself in front of his teammates with the Kansas City Chiefs. His body was recently exhumed in order to examine his brain and the discovery that his brain displayed signs of a disease that had attacked the brains of other players who had committed suicide. He was losing his mind as a result of his chosen career which was sad enough, but the fact he was only 24 was indeed shocking. As a lifelong football fan I have watched two players, Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, kill themselves as a result of brain disease. We have to examine our roles in this situation. Do we want young people playing this sport? Would you want your son to become a football player? And what about other sports like boxing that I wrote about last week where a 28-year-old hockey player died from drugs and alcohol after a career as a so-called enforcer. Basically, he was a fighter and got his brains beaten over and over again. We must protect young and old brains alike.

Old coffeehouse friends




I saw Craig Seimsen and his wife Patty Stevenson performing last night at the 19th street coffeehouse. It is hard to imagine how long I have known them. I met them when they were living in a community house. It was long ago and far away. In between, life happened. He had a long career with the Milwaukee Public Schools. They went on countless walks, made albums, love and almost met wild animals.. Now they are the proud parents of a teenage daughter.

I never met a more perfectly matched couple. Craig has grayed nicely while Patty is probably a witch because she doesn’t look any older than when I first met her. I bought Craig’s cd, It’s About Time, which has one of my favorite songs called  We’d Rather Make Toys.The cd had originally been released in 1990. Wow, 24 years ago.

It was not the first time I had been the only African-American at the coffeehouse but it was the first time I had bought cds and albums in the same day. Earlier I had been with Liz and bought some Art Blakey, Johnson Coltrane and Dave Brubeck albums. I had started out in the coffeehouse scene as a high school student listening to songs of peace.

I was hoping after the concert to see a classic edition of Saturday Night Live with Richard Pryor and Gil Scott Heron but it was not meant to be. As it happened, the episode had aired when I was still at the coffeehouse.

There were many others at the coffeehouse besides Craig and Patty. For instance Bill Murtaugh, a long time poet, was in the crowd. Other coffeehouse performers were there, too.

To say I have eclectic tastes would be an understatement. As Craig would say, it’s about time. Are you ready to roam?

Here come the goons: what does this have to do with hockey?

A guy I knew from elementary school  used to idolize the Montreal Canadiens who were the top team at the same time the Boston Celtics were ruling basketball. This afternoon I heard a story about a young man Derek Boogard who was only 28 years old when he died from an accidental overdose after a career as a so called hockey enforcer. i think of this because I grew up watching hockey among other sports. I can’t recall ever cheering the fact two idiots were fighting during the game. When I watched the finals of the National Hockey League i was excited at how few penalties were called. And yet, there is a young man who died and suffered many concussions as a result of his hockey fights. he did not live to be almost 64. He was not especially athletic or graceful but he was big and he lover to drop his gloves and fight. He loved the excitement  and the pay was probably good, too. But he’s dead.

Are you a goon in training/ A junior league enforcer, dropping your gloves and slugging it out? If you are, this message is not for you, because I think you’re a menace, part of what needs to be eliminated from the sport of hockey. When I’m 64 speaks to growing older, retiring, and entering a new field. But it’s not possible if you’ve had your brains beaten inside and out. if I was in charge of hockey in Canada and the US i would develop policies to ban fighters and those who promote them. If you want to fight, go become a boxer. Hockey is about passing and strategy not dropping your gloves.

The Bucket List

This about living to a standard I would like to live by and things I would like to see in my life.

The uppermost in my mind is to have one lasting romance. I’m speaking from the standpoint of being divorced and many lost relationships. have Ii found the woman  to retire with?Will the remaining years be the best ones I ever had?

That’s the beginning of the Bucket List.


Terms of endearment




Today on Facebook I posted a status update  “The little pest was right, after all.   ‘This prompted a question from one of my fans,  who was wondering what I meant and what indeed is a little pest. This of course is an inside joke regarding  Liz, who I also call my companion.   I sometime use terms like sweets, herself or the little knucklehead. However, it is possible I may be referring to the cat instead. When one reaches my advanced state of decrepitude without a diagnosis or sports injury, you’re entitled to a little latitude.

I have learned never to call women by the name of your favorite food, for example. Couscous is something I enjoy but only once was a foolish enough to call a woman by that name. Thanks to my quick reflexes, I avoided receiving a hot dish of the same in my lap. apparently, this was a dealbreaker.

I avoid names i might have heard in movies, like doll, beautiful or monkey face. Cary Grant used the term monkey face with great effect in a movie with a very beautiful woman.

I would never use a term of endearment that someone under 40 would use. She’s not my main squeeze, babe, or anything else I am too addled to imagine.  I think of the term companion as meaning far more than being someone to have a physical relationship with. This is a woman who shares my lack of memory and enjoys it. We can be as absent minded as we want and still laugh about it. She is a woman to share intimacy, talking, walking and thinking about the life we would like to live. And the kind of world to leave behind.

A woman to chase mice with. A woman to share a smile, a kiss, a hello and happiness. These are all my terms of endearment and what they mean to me..